Carlos Martinez and more HRs beat Brewers [Cardinals 3, Brewers 0]

Cards WIN

It was often a comedy game of errors. The Cardinals beat a Brewers team last night that has only won three times all season and it’s not too hard to see why. The Cardinals displayed their solo HR power with Heyward and Peralta each getting one. Carlos Martinez had his best and longest start of the season with 7 shutout innings and 8 Ks.
However, two things happened last night that weren’t good and could turn out to be very bad. Yadier Molina caught a foul tip off of his knee and was removed from the game. He’s not in the lineup today. Obviously losing Yadi to the DL again would be a big miss.
Second, Trevor Rosenthal was used to get the save and almost more worryingly Jordan Walden pitched the 8th. Jordan Walden has now pitched 11 times this year and has only had three days off since April 15th. And one of those days was an off day for the Cardinals as well. Mike Matheny has to start feeling comfortable using somebody else occasionally. I’m sure the pitchers are telling him each day that they are ok to pitch but he (and Derek Lilliquist) should realize that so much use is a recipe for disaster. The second best way for the Cardinals to remedy this would be to score 10 runs in the next couple of games which is entirely possible against these Brewers.

Cards win another late one, win series in DC [Cardinals 4, Nationals 1]

Cards WIN

Michael Wacha out-dueled $210 million dollar man Max Scherzer. They both pitched a 7 full innings, Wacha struck out 6 and walked 2 while allowing 5 hits and 1 run. This was another of the great games of the season and was well played and crisp until Mark Reynolds pinch hit and turned a double and a base running error into a little league inside the park home run. It provided the insurance runs the Cardinals wouldn’t need but were likely glad to have. Trevor Rosenthal worked the 9th without incident again – he’s 6 for 6 this year but will surely need some rest this weekend. Hopefully the Cardinals will blaze past the Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend. What a great game though. A pitchers duel with some offense at the end. I said more than once before the season that Michael Wacha staying healthy and pitching well was the key to the season. He started the game off with a 4 pitch walk but made getting out of trouble look easy after that. He ended up throwing 95 pitches over his 7 innings.

Cardinals Debut: Dean Anna

Wong wins it [Cardinals 7, Nationals 5]

Cards WIN

The score was 5-0 Cardinals in the 3rd inning and it looked like we were going to roll to an easy win and an offensive blowout. Then John Lackey got into trouble and forgot to cover first base and it was 5-5. It stayed at 5-5 until the 8th inning when Kolten Wong doubled and got his 3rd RBI of the game. Matt Adams added a HR for insurance in the 9th and Trevor Rosenthal went to two 3-2 counts but got the save without allowing a base runner. Despite the win, the bullpen continues to be a worry, John Lackey didn’t make it to 6 innings and had this game gone to extra innings it would have been real trouble. Kolten Wong was the real hero of the game, he had a HR in the 2nd inning – his first of the year, as well as making some outstanding defensive plays. It was rocky in places, but the Cardinals bounced back from only scoring one run the night before and hit 3 HRs – which they needed to win this one. Day game today, hopefully Michael Wacha goes deep and saves the bullpen.

Cardinals Report 2 of 27

Last 6 games 5-1
Overall Record 8-4
Lineups Used last 6 games 3
Different Lineups Used Overall 5
Highest Avg. Last 6 Games Matt Holliday .563
Most RBI Last 6 Games Yadier Molina 6
Most Strikeouts Last 6 Games Jhonny Peralta, Matt Adams 5
Injuries Randal Grichuk
Biggest Concern bullpen workload
Lacking Offense/SP/RP lack of power?

Until last night’s 10 inning loss, the Cardinals were really rolling. They won 5 games in a row, sweeping the Reds and winning the series against the Brewers. They were scoring a few more runs than they had been the first 6 games and the pitching was holding up. One problem though, they only managed to hit 2 home runs in the last six games. Jason Heyward did hit his first so he’s made a small contribution against the power deficiency but it’s hard to see how he’s going to progress the offense after last season all by himself. With the game last night the Cardinals are now 1-1 in extra inning games this year and that’s fine, but it always seems a gamble when Mike Matheny has used most of the bullpen by the 8th inning.

So overall, not a lot to complain or worry about based on the last 6 games. Two of the three Matts are on fire offensively and the struggles yesterday were against a LH pitcher unsurprisingly. But remember, it’s still early!

Cards lose; end 5 game winning streak in 10th inning [Nationals 2, Cardinals 1]

Cards Lose

The Cardinals never really had it offensively last night and as they were using their bullpen up in the 8th and coming back in the 9th I wondered if it was worth it – it never really seemed like they were going to win the game. They had won their last five games and were bound to lose eventually. They had 13 hits but managed only one run with Matt Holiday finally getting the RBI on his fourth hit of the game. Lance Lynn pitched well but could have helped himself out – he was responsible for 6 of the men the Cardinals left on base. Again Mike Matheny dodged a bit of a bullet when Carlos Villanueva gave up the walk off HR in the 10th inning – the only other pitchers in the bullpen were Trevor Rosenthal and the newly called up Mitchell Harris – who was called up in place of Peter Bourjos going on paternity leave – so normally there wouldn’t have been an extra pitcher. The only real shame is that Jon Jay made two outstanding plays in the outfield to keep the Cardinals in the game in the 9th and 10th innings and then on the next pitch Villanueva gave up the HR. It was going to happen eventually so thankfully it happened in the 10th and not the 15th inning. You can’t really blame anybody – after 5 good wins the Cardinals were due for a loss and a night of cold offense. It’s not surprising that it came against a LH starting pitcher either.

Cards win it late and get the sweep [Cardinals 2, Reds 1] +1 (Season +1)

Cards WIN

The Cardinals had trouble scoring off of a Reds starter for the first time this year and it was a classic pitchers duel between Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake who both pitched 8 innings. Adam Wainwright gave up 7 hits to Leake’s 4 and it was touch and go in the 8th when the Reds loaded the bases but Wainwright got out of it with a ground ball. The Cardinals seized the narrow escape and got a run manufactured in the bottom of the inning with a Jon Jay double, Yadier Molina groundout and Kolten Wong sacrifice fly. Then Mike Matheny decided Trevor Rosenthal had too much work recently (good decision) and put Jordan Walden in to close the game out. He gave up a single and stolen base and was struggling to find the strike zone and then got out of the inning with a quick pop up and ground ball. The Cardinals got their first sweep of the year in their 4th series. I’m going to say this is the first +1 game of the year – it was a game that could have easily gone the other way – it was tied in the 8th inning and the Cardinals had been out hit the whole game. It was also the quickest game of the year, just over 2 hours but I’d gladly watch a longer game where we score more runs – this was one of the best games of the year so far probably. And now the Cardinals have a well deserved off day before going to Washington on Tuesday.

Cards score 5 and win 4th straight [Cardinals 5, Reds 2]

Cards WIN

They did it again. Carlos Martinez only pitched six innings and was well under 100 pitches when he was taken out – but why not make sure his second start is a positive experience. Seth Maness came in and made everybody nervous allowing a run but pitched 1 and 2/3 and then Randy Choate failed again to get his man. And then Trevor Rosenthal pitched the way we’re used to – getting the tying run to the plate in Joey Votto before he struck him out looking. Offensively Jason Heyward hit his first HR of the year and got a curtain call at Busch Stadium. And you’ll never believe it, but Matt Carpenter doubled again.
Adam Wainwright pitches tonight – let’s get the sweep!

Cardinals score 6 runs and win [Cardinals 6, Reds 1]

Cards WIN

Michael Wacha was keeping the Cardinals in the game, similar to the way John Lackey had done the day before. This time it took until the bottom of the 7th for the Cards to break the tie at 1-1. John Jay was intentionally walked to load the bases and get Yadier Molina up. This didn’t make sense to me and as a Cardinals fan I’m always happy to watch Yadi hit with the bases loaded. He wasted no time and hit the first pitch to the gap in left-center for a bases clearing double. The Cardinals had reached their magic number of 4 runs and it seemed pretty obvious they would go on to win. Then they outdid themselves and scored 2 more in the 8th. Mike Matheny in a move I liked put in Kevin Siegrest in the 8th instead of Jordan Walden (he needed a rest I think) and let him finish the game. His first batter was Joey Votto and he walked him on some borderline pitches but other than that and a single in the 9th he was fine. Now, walking Joey Votto if the game is on the line and you’re a LH specialist is not something you want to see, but here it turned out to be no matter. For the Reds, even though he got the loss Johnny Cueto struck out 10. That guy can pitch, but for the second time since last Saturday, the Cardinals and Michael Wacha got the better of him.

After being 3-3 after 6 games, the Cardinals have now won 3 straight and moved up to 6-3 and back in first place.

Lackey’s strong start leads Cards to victory [Cardinals 4, Brewers 0]

Cards WIN

It took awhile, but the Cardinals offense eventually got to their magic number of 4 runs scored. Meanwhile, John Lackey was methodically pitching 7 scoreless innings – keeping the Cardinals in what was a scoreless game until the bottom of the 6th when the Cards scored two. Jordan Walden gave up a single in the 8th but that was it and then when the Cardinals scored their 4th run in the 8th, Trevor Rosenthal sat down and Matt Belisle pitched a perfect 9th. There wasn’t much going on, offensively Matt Carpenter had 2 doubles. Tonights game is agains the Reds – Wacha vs Cueto again – should be a good one.

Cards use 7 pitchers to beat Brewers [Cardinals 4, Brewers 2]

Cards WIN

I don’t have much to say. But it doesn’t seem like there is much to say about this game. The offense got stuck at 4 runs again and the bullpen didn’t make any mistakes. Lance Lynn only pitched 5 innings and allowed 1 run. Then we had a parade of relievers – every reliever except for Carlos Villanueva actually – finish the game. The only other run allowed was by Trevor Rosenthal as he got the save but since he had a 3 run lead, it was a good time for him to give one up. Yadier Molina had 3 hits and didn’t strike out so maybe he’s getting on track. Mike Matheny is already concerned about the amount of work the bullpen is doing – and so am I – but the difference is he is the one using the bullpen. Some of these pitchers are going to have to get more than one out on a regular basis. Not Randy Choate, although he did have his second successful appearance of the season and is now 2/4. Notably Lance Lynn got his 50th career win and has only made 99 career starts – he has 29 losses so he’s looking pretty good.
Today’s game will be tough – it’s a day game after a night game and the bullpen is strained so let’s get an offensive breakout please.